Aurat March- Divided Nation

For every feminist , the most crucial objective of his struggle should be the better and equal standard of life of women in every society. Once goal is agreed upon then issues can be solved wither through dialogue or forceful resistance. It is not less than wasting of time to elucidate that since 2018 Pakistani women’s rights activists have taken an initiative to observe the 8th of march as a women’s day following the trend of the international community. One of the reason of its popularity is crystal clear that women are faced with myriad problems. Their deprivation and sufferings are now a days common. Most of the time cruelty to them is accepted in the name of customs and religion. Nobody spoke for them for a long time. Finally, feminists started the movement in Pakistan. The point to ponder is why our nation is divided on this incredible women empowerment initiative! To comprehend this point we need to understand Pakistani Muslim society. Pakistan is a nation but the cultural, racial social and linguistic identities are still creating problems. Everyday we witness conflicts in universities on the grounds of cultural, linguistic, and racial differences. It confirms that we are still ignorant as a nation.As far as the Aurat march is concerned, on one side there are modernists, liberals, secular, and the progressive people. On the other side, there are pro-culture and religious people. To clarify, it will be beneficial to jot down that all the participants of the Aurat march are not atheists. It is also correct that a huge number of the pro-religion people are also very open-minded and believe in women’s rights.

The discussion hints that to some extent all are on the same page. If both blocs are on the same page then why do we see curbs on Aurat March? The answer is not as complicated and ruthless as it is shown. The primary difference is of the understanding each other perspectives and culture. The ultra secular group wishes for absolute liberation of all people ,even LGBT, which is not acceptable in Pakistan. Whereas, some religious people who are ignorant of Islam wish to impose their culture on women in the camouflage of Islam. For example, Islam permits women to pronounce delegated divorce on their own but in our society it is considered an act of disgrace. Islam allows women to choose their spouses. And the parents of a daughter can ask a boy if he wants to marry their daughter and vice versa. Islam allows a girl to read, write, and work as a professional. Islam permits women to celebrate cultural festivals. In Islam , a man must maintain his wife. Earning is a privilege not a compulsion for a woman. If she wants to be economically independent, she is free to do so. A woman can be a religious preacher. She is not duty-bound to take care of the parents-in-law, but a family is the theme of social life in Islam. The commands of the holy prophet are not the advises of any philosopher for the Muslims. At the time of last sermon, he had instructed Muslim men to treat their wives in a good manner. Women is not a symbol of sin, Islam declared that heaven is under the feet of a mother. In fact, I can say that our prophet worked as a guardian of the women. I do not think that any feminist will have any objection to these. But if you ask a rural Pakistani to allow his boy to marry without dowry, he will never do this. If you ask a brother to allow his sister to marry a boy of his choice, he seldom agrees.

The sensitive feminists will not agree whatever a religious person claims. They have an ingrained concept that all common Pakistanis are illiterate , illogical, unaware, and religious bigots. They want the freedom which the humans enjoy in the Europe. Some of them are radical revolutionaries and want to uproot religion, capitalism, and the existing system. Some of them wants homosexual rights. Some of them consider beard, and veil a sigh of Arabic imperialism. They say if a boy has illicit relation then his sister and wife should also be allowed to do whatever she wants to do, quite illogical. If Saudis opens up a wine shop, they taunts Pakistanis. They are unaware of the fact that the Pakistani religious group consider themselves custodian of the teachings of prophet. The role model of Muslims is Quran and sun ah not Molvis or present Arabs. There is a gap of communication between the two groups. The gap is widening with each passing day.

Can you imagine that religious people will be happy to see the following facts and figures. According to the United States Institute for Peace, The literacy rate among girls and women, in Pakistan, is 22 percent lower than literacy of men. Women are 49 percent of Pakistan’s, yet form only about 22 percent of the country’s labor and obtain only 18 percent of its labor income. Women hold only 5 percent of senior leadership positions in the economy. According to the report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),” 32 percent of women have experienced violence in .” Pakistan is 145th out of 146 on the gender equality index. Despite the fact that our religion gives them rights. It can be said that Allah gives women rights, some Muslim men do not. I have asked many of my villagers that why they do not let their girls to read. They said, ” Which school, the school in which powerful people keep their cattle?”

Hence, to conclude the debate, I will affirm that Aliice walker is right if she says, “No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to speak.” Simon De Beauvoir is also true if she says ,” Man is defined as a human being and woman as female.” But on the contrary, it will be incorrect to generalize a particular event and apply it to everything. For example, the people of the UK used to pay homage to their barons, Mongols we’re once nasty, Indians were once slaves, and Afro-Americans were slaves. Thus , it will be wrong to say that we are at war with all whites, Europeans, or the rich people. If in third world countries, women are confronted with a host of problems, no doubt, at the same time, the men of these countries are impoverished and unaware. I will say that we should be focused on the rights of all. Secondly, religions must be respected. I am especially concerned with Islam. If are woman allowed to do everything within limits then why feminists are unhappy? Molana Mododi gave, in one of his book, the idea that women should be allowed to run factories and buses. He advised that a separate and only women’s atmosphere must be provided to them. Similarly men should do their work in their own sphere. Here, I am not arguing that it should be enforced on all but the decision should be consensus oriented to the extent of our society. The identical program can be experimentedwith in sports and other jobs. This cannot be the only way out, other venues and ideas can be debated and discussed. If our feminists are concerned about the condition of ladies in Pakistan, then they should harp on this string together with religious people. Freedom can be obtained if the oppressed and common people are on one page. To end the schism in the Aurat March, a rational approach is needed. Neither Molana Haibat Ullah nor De Beauvior can be our ultimate boss. We need to see whatever is best suited for our people. If the leaders of feminism sit with the touch-bearers of Islam and agree upon a common agenda, the initiative can bear sweet fruits.

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